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Cloud Computing, Dropbox and Data Backup

dropboxNobody wants to think about it but calamities do happen. Many of the things need the most when disaster strikes are stored on your computer. Experienced computer users know that there are two types of people: those who have already lost data and those who will lose data in the future.   Backups are the only way of getting your computer back to exactly how it was and the place to store your data is in the cloud.

Cloud Computing in Plain English Video

Using a simple story of a growing florist business, this video explains the basics of cloud computing: how it works and why it makes sense for businesses
and individuals.

  • The difference between on-site computing and cloud computing
  • The financial benefits of cloud computing
  • What makes cloud computing secure and efficient
  • How cloud computing impacts consumers

dropboxDropbox is a free file synchronization and cloud storage system that allows you to access your files no matter where you are. Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere you go. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your mobile device, and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox Cloud  provides full-featured and reliable security system like Sync Multiple Computers, 100% Automated Backups, Encrypted-Secure, Unlimited Space, and much more.

Cloud-based services include G mail and Google Docs. Earlier this month Facebook and Dropbox have rolled out a new feature on the social networking site that allows users to share their Dropbox files. This makes file sharing easier for businesses by allowing members to share within Facebook groups.

Dropbox Intro Video

Four killer Dropbox tricks

In How to protect your computer and data in case disaster strikes you will find a step by step checklist for taking action now so you’re prepared for the day disaster strikes.

16 thoughts on “Cloud Computing, Dropbox and Data Backup

  1. I just did a fresh back up today, but your post is a good reminder of an alternative to a back-up drive. I don’t think it hurts to have several back-ups on different media in different places – the belt and suspenders philosophy.

  2. Am sure you realize that Google Docs is now Google Drive — comes with 5 gigs and its own App, etc….

  3. Really great tips. I use flash drives and extra hard drives to save my data. Good or not, I feel it’s in my hand and not someone else. Do I sound old-fashioned or what?

    • Or what, Mary. I think flash drives and extra hard drives (internal or external) are a smart idea. Right you are that it’s in your hand, and in your control. It’s best, I think, to have some local solutions in case a cloud or other online storage solution fails.

  4. Backups are the only way of getting your computer back to exactly how it was and the place to store your data is in the cloud.

    I agree backups are important– I learned the hard way. But I’m reluctant to agree broadly that off-site storage a.k.a. “the cloud” is necessarily the one place to store data. Storing data locally is also important, I think. If I understand David right, he says he has a copy of his files that are NOT synced to Dropbox, so if the Dropbox copies fail, he’s still got the copies locally on his machine. He also said “If Dropbox is hacked”. That’s likely a slim chance, but it is possible, and users have more control over local storage in some ways. I’m a client-side sort of guy, usually. I like using clients for blogging, writing, etc. as I can keep a greater degree of control over my data and of course I can always save data locally. I use the “cloud”, too, but it’s only part of my backup options.

    I look at Dropbox and Google Docs (now part of “Google Drive” by the way– I think Google wants to compete) as a networking solution, too. My wife Cimmy uses Windows Vista, I use Ubuntu/Linux Mint. I practically tore my hair out trying to get our machines to talk to each other. We quickly found that these services were supported cross-platform and it was MUCH quicker for us to collaborate and share documents using them. I got some family members to use Dropbox, too (mostly they use XP or 7) to work on some photo/scrapbook albums for my parents’ birthdays. Collaboration was very quick, easy, and we could keep things under wraps for the surprise element, too. Eventually I do want more networked hardware (WD’s MyBook Live, a networked printer) for local support but the cloud has options.

    The Lifehacker article Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox under your generated Related Articles section basically covers other ways to use Dropbox (or Google Drive, etc.) as a cloud-based network service. To sum it up one way, you have Dropbox put your desktop/lappy to the heavy lifting for printing and storage and then your smartphone/mobile device/tablet has remote access to do so easily.

  5. Good video tips from CNET.

    Here’s my tip. I never put files that I am backing up into the Dropbox folder on my computer. Instead I copy them to the Dropbox folder. That means I have two copies of the files. The downside is that I have twice the amount of space taken up on my computer.

    The upside is this: If Dropbox is hacked or the files on the remote Dropbox are deleted for some reason – and my computer synched with Dropbox – I would lose my files.

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